Ottawa isn’t just the capital of Canada; it’s also an incredibly beautiful city with lots of amazing sights. But you don’t necessarily need to hike through mountains before you can get a good view of the beautiful sights in the city. Some you can see from your car. So, where are the best places to park your car with a view in Ottawa?
If you’re in Ottawa and want to go sightseeing, there are many places you can go in your car. They include Champlain Parkway, Gatineau Parkway, Wakefield, 1000 Islands Parkway, Nepean Point, Sir John Macdonald Parkway, Meech Lake Road, Rockcliffe Parkway, Queen Elizabeth Drive, and Terry Fox Drive.
However, while you can park in some of these places, there are places where you might need a little hike to get a better view. Here, we discuss some of the best places to park your car with a view in Ottawa.
1. Champlain Parkway
There’s no reason to miss the uphill route that promises you some of the most beautiful sights in the city. The route is off Gatineau Parkway, and if you continue driving to the top, you can explore the beautiful Gatineau Hills. At the top, you’ll find some of the most scenic areas in the park.
2. Rockcliffe Parkway
There are a plethora of sights that you can see from here. The Ottawa River Aviation Museum, 24 Sussex Drive, and Rideau Hall. The Parkway itself is a well-paved route beside the Ottawa River and passes through the finest neighbourhood in the city, Rockcliffe Park. It’s a scenic drive whether you park by the roadside or just slowly cruise through the road. You can also see Gatineau Hill perfectly from here. The great thing about Rockcliffe Parkway is that you can have a scenic drive, and when you’re done, park by a lookout spot and take fantastic pictures of the whole environment. From the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway, the road winds up navigating the cliffs with Ottawa river to your left and the beautiful estates of Rockcliffe to your right. The incredible views of the waterfront here and the wonderful architecture of various foreign embassies along the hills are worthwhile sights.
3. Sir John Macdonald Parkways
Parkways with scenic drives are a common sight in Ottawa, and this is just another one you shouldn’t miss out on when in the city. It’s on the west end of the city, with the incredible beauty that distinguishes it from other parts of the city. The Parkway runs alongside the Ottawa river before veering south by the Britannia Conservation Area. This is a nature’s paradise just outside the core downtown, and you can always stop for a bit of time here to take in the natural marvels of the city. Other points of interest in the city such as the Kitchissippi lookout, the Remic Rapids Parks, and Westboro Beach. All of these sights have their unique beauty that’s worth exploring and basking in. Even better is they all offer great spots for sunrises and sunsets. So, going on in the early morning and late evening further adds to the layer of beauty that already shrouds this place.
4. Gatineau Parkway
Do you want to get a good view of Camp Fortune and Pink Lake from your car? Then this route is just ideal for you. Its beautiful rolling hills and greenery and incredible sights on its own, but you will love to watch the Pink Lake, which is undoubtedly the best natural sight in the city.
5. Nepean Point
You can get amazing panoramic views of Fairmont Chateau Laurier and Parliament buildings from the Nepean Point. It’s east of Byward Market before getting to Alexandra Beach. It’s also one of the best places to enjoy the sunset in the city. This hidden lookout also gives you a view of Jacques Cartier Park. If you’re interested in scenic sights, you shouldn’t miss visiting Nepean Point while in Ottawa.
6. Meech Lake Road
This route lets you go through Old Chelsea and down the slopes of Camp Fortune to Gatineau Park. This route allows you to explore the park from inside your car, and you can be sure to find different fascinating views here. Hills and lakes are common sights on this ride, and you can always park for a while to admire anything you find interesting.
7. Queen Elizabeth Drive
If you want waterfront views in Ottawa, this Drive is one of the best chances to get it. The Drive starts from City Hall, hugging the Rideau Canal, and it then goes around the Dow’s Lake. On this route, there are multiple spots to park your car and explore the blooming gardens and colourful trees that offer you a perfect spot to sit in your car and just enjoy the atmosphere. If you’re planning to take pictures, you can’t run out of options as to where to get the best shots.
This is on Highway 5 and offers you a road adventure as far as they come. There are several amazing sights along the way where you can stop for a quick look around. The Vorlage Ski Resort and Morrison’s Quarry are unmissable sights. You can also stop at the Wakefield Covered bridge to watch the scenery and traffic, get coffee, and take photos.
9. 1000 Islands Parkway
This long scenic route is about an hour outside the city and runs parallel to the St. Lawrence River. It’s within the national park and has been in existence since 1947. There’s only one lane in each direction for the 40km long route, but there are several stops along the way where you can park to enjoy the scenery. The rocky lookouts, water views, and camping spots are a delight.
10. Terry Fox Drive
The natural landscape of west Ottawa blooms differently during the Fall, and one of the best places to watch the beauty of that season is Terry Fox Drive. We’re talking about picturesque areas with serene and quiet environments. One of the places you can check out along this route is the South March Highlands Conservation Forest. If you’re planning to explore the forest, you might need to get out of your car and hike along the walking trail inside this natural gem.
There are many incredible sights in the city that you can enjoy views of from your car. You just need to know the right routes and stop at the right places. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to go with your hiking shoes so you can explore further if you feel the need to.